Saturday, February 26, 2011
Dealing with weight loss and fitness plateaus
After months of seeing results on the scale from your weight loss and exercise routine you are surprised by a sudden end to your progress, in spite of your continued commitment. Experts call this a “plateau” and here is what you need to know so you can overcome this dreaded diet-derailer!
According to The Mayo Clinic at mayoclinic.com: A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose lean tissue (muscle). When you lose weight, you lose both fat and lean tissue. (The notion that overweight people have a slower metabolism is a myth. In general, the higher a person's weight, the higher the body's metabolic rate.) Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism. This means that in order to lose more weight, you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially will maintain your weight loss, but it won't lead to more weight loss.
Arming yourself with this information you can now revisit your weight loss strategies and fitness to combat the plateau. The most important thing to do is not become discouraged. This is usually the time when most people who have been seeing a steady decrease in weight begin to give up on their routine.
By understanding that a plateau is a natural occurrence you can prepare for it before it comes. Reduce your caloric intake by as much as an extra 200 calories while also increasing your work-outs by up to 30 minutes.
The most important thing is to remain motivated. Your healthy fitness goals should never be compromised by what the scale says. Ultimately any changes you make to improve the quality of your health and wellness are going to benefit you in the long run. This is why a momentary stall in your results should not discourage you but motivate you to continue your efforts. A plateau is not a sign of failure, it is actually an indicator that you have been succeeding and now need to step up your game further.
Friday, February 18, 2011
We know how important it is to remain on track of your healthy eating and fitness routine. No matter how committed you might be, life can sometimes throw a wrench your way and completely sidetrack you. Here are some tips that can help you recommit and climb back on that wagon!
-Set a goal and a reward. Not all of us are natural athletes so we need to motivate ourselves in order to remain on track. By setting goals and a reward system you are more likely to be driven towards success. The goals can be as simple as increasing your time at the gym or on the treadmill by an extra 10 minutes. You can also register for a race or a walk. The reward can be new music, new workout clothes or shoes, a manicure or a massage.
-Release the past and embrace the present. Do not beat yourself up for having fallen off the wagon. That is wasted energy that you can be putting into your new and improved routine. Starting over gives you the opportunity to introduce one that is designed for who you are today, not who you were back then.
-Make yourself a priority in your own life. Often we sacrifice our own health and wellness because we think we are being selfish taking up time to choose healthy foods and exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. By taking care of yourself you are being responsible, working towards remaining healthy and not becoming a burden to others. You are also setting a great example and teaching others how to treat you. By caring for yourself you send the message out to your family, friends and co-workers that you value yourself and your health and if you can do it, they can too.
-Be kind and rewind. Watch your internal dialog. Feed yourself positive messages and repeat them to yourself as often as possible. You are the president and CEO of your body and your life and you deserve to live a Fortune 500 life!
Friday, February 11, 2011
After enjoying a lovely weekend with my girlfriends, one of them said to the group how beginning Monday she would be eating salads to make up for the two days of indulging.
In spite of how often I hear this, it still surprises me that people really believe that the only way to weight loss and fitness is through deprivation and torture. It is that attitude that keeps the pounds on and prevents us from ever being free of the weight loss roller coaster.
One of the most trusted and proven methods of weight loss is managing your caloric intake in conjunction with some form of exercise. You can expect weight loss if you ingest the recommended amount of calories calculated for your current weight and height. If your daily allotment is 1600 calories – you can eat anything at all as long as you stay within that amount. So why if given the option to ingest 300 calories for lunch would you have dry lettuce, or a meal replacement shake when you can have a delicious and healthy sandwich made with lean meat, stuffed with veggies? By eating actual food you are feeding your body the necessary grains and nutrients it needs without feeling deprived.
The same holds true for exercise. Why would you spend 30 minutes involved in exercise you hate, and will probably quit after a few weeks, when you can make a choice that you enjoy and benefits you?
A healthy lifestyle begins with the decision to commit to adopting sensible eating and physical activity. Striking a balance between your dietary needs and your personal food taste is the key to long-term success. You can apply the same principle to exercise. Take an honest look at your lifestyle and make time for some form of enjoyable or tolerable physical activity.
The bottom line here is that you are worth taking the time and making the commitment to yourself to live a full and healthy life. Depriving yourself of the foods you love is not conducive to long-term results or to the happy and healthy life you deserve.
Friday, February 4, 2011
The holidays are behind us and some of us are now struggling with our broken resolutions. If you fell off the wagon before you were even comfortably inside, relax, that happens to the best of us. One of the reasons resolutions fail is because no one can change a lifetime of poor habits overnight. This is why your first mission to insure success is to decide not give up on yourself.
Once you are armed with that relentless commitment to yourself you can make choices to create and support your new lifestyle. Here are some suggestions to get you started and keep you motivated.
Get out of your own way. If you are struggling with weight issues do yourself a favor and join a weight management program. You do not need to be obese to join. I have returned to my program when I was only 10 pounds over because I did not want to get any heavier. The program is not just about losing weight but learning how to feed your body in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Move your body. The simplest and most cost effective exercise you can do is to walk. Start off by doing a 30 minute walk and slowly work your way to covering more distance in that 30 minutes. By moving your body you will not only tone and lose weight but you will also be releasing stress that has been proven to horde fat.
Be honest and kind to yourself. Join your team – do not work against yourself. Engage in an internal dialog that helps you stay on track. Recommit every morning to a day of healthy choices and then just put yourself on automatic pilot. Slip-ups are normal and you should plan for them. Do not skip a meal or over-exercise to make up for it. Just reset and move on.
A healthy lifestyle is not a temporary program - it is a long-term commitment to yourself. By adopting healthy habits that match your taste and lifestyle you will set yourself up for success.